Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE)

This minimally invasive procedure, previously known as Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE), is carried out while the patient is conscious but sedated, drowsy and feeling no pain. A tiny skin puncture is made in either the groin or the wrist and a sheath and then catheter inserted into the artery. The catheter is guided through the arterial tree to the uterus while the Radiologist watches the progress of the procedure using a moving x-ray (fluoroscope). Tiny plastic or gelatin particles the size of grains of sand are injected into the artery that is supplying blood to the fibroids, cutting off the flow. Both left- and right-sided arteries are treated, usually requiring a single micro-incision. Local Anaesthetic is injected directly into the uterine artery midway through the embolisation. This has radically changed the pain following embolisation and many women can now be treated as day cases or with only one night in hospital. Once home women can resume work and normal activities as soon as they feel able

Average volume reduction of individual fibroids is around 50% but some fibroids disapear entirely.
Relief of symptoms occurs in weeks and is seen in over 90% of women

  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • Completely pain free
  • Considerably faster recovery time
  • Lower complication rate than open surgery
  • Lower recurrence rate than myomectomy
  • Keeps fertility options open

treatment-diagram